Saving money and finding good value for money is always my main aim and when there is a deal to be had, you can be sure it will be covered here. However, a recent article in the news covered a selection of items which it recommended were not actually cheaper even though you spend less. Something the old saying “penny-wise not pound-wise” applies great meaning to.
Your total outlay of money in the long run may be doubled if you purchase cheap, poorly built products initially. So these are a few of the items that I liked which as a result of general consensus and my own experience, are actually better value for money and work out cheaper over time if you buy the more expensive, better quality versions upfront.
Child Car Seats
The first item concerns children which require child seats and you need to ask yourself, what are you strapping your child into, when travelling by car? One of the best ways to help you decide which car seat is best suited to your child and also your pocket is by checking out individual consumer reviews like those posted on Choice.com.au. Decent entry-level car seats are within the region of $150 and while that may seem expensive, when it comes to saving your child’s life there shouldn't really be a limit to what you can afford. A few retailers such as Harvey Norman, Deals Direct and ToysRus have a good selection, but if you choose to go with ToysRus, then make use of their 25% discount coupon code off all items to get it for less than you would at the other two stores.
Needless to say, some good advice I can offer is do not buy second hand car seats which have been involved in a crash, its integrity may have been compromised, plus even an old seat (crash or no crash) needs to be checked for an expiry date. For example a car seat exposed to the temperature changes of summer and winter weather can have the strength of its plastic degraded or simply out-dated by newer safety standards.
Secondly, in line with the child theme, toys are another type of product which can be bought cheaply, but tend to come with issues when bought very inexpensively. For example, very low priced toys usually do not work correctly or break very easily and as a result, will either frustrate your child or provide increased chances of hazardous parts breaking off and causing a threat to your child’s health. Plus you will most likely only end up having to throw it away, which would be a waste of money.
Avoiding these cheaper priced toys may mean that your child doesn’t receive as many gifts on Christmas or their birthday. But from my experience with my nephews, a more expensive toy with a better quality build usually leads to more thought being applied when selecting your gift and ultimately means they play with the toy for longer and enjoy it more thoroughly. To get some inspiration, visit ToysRus, because they have a good variety of toys. Plus, you can combine your purchase with these Coupon codes of either 25% off all items or 10% off full priced items. If they don’t have what you are looking for, why not try:
Slightly more focused on children, but still relevant to adults as well, shoes are another item, which provide better value for money when you spend that little extra for better quality. Kids especially need shoes that are tough to put up with daily exploratory activities. I myself have purchased cheap trainers before and experienced the materials on top quickly forming holes and small rips that only tend to grow with further use. In fact it was only one month ago that I was wearing some discount shoes walking through town and the heal fell off in the middle of the street (very embarrassing). To my amazement, upon investigation it was only some strong glue that held these smart appearing, yet cheap shoes together.
Higher prices usually lend to the idea that you will receive better quality materials in both adults and kids shoes, but if you are sitting at a desk all day, the necessity wont be very prominent, but for that early morning run or gym work out, a good quality pair of trainers / shoes might just give you that extra 200 miles of running distance for example. So if you would like a good set of examples to browse online shoes, why not consider a few of these websites:
This is an area where it can really help to spend a little more to get better value for money. One of the main reasons for this is that cheaper health insurance plans generally include high deductibles, restricted provider networks and require you to jump through hoops in order to receive your specialist care. One tip I have used in the past when shopping for plans, rather than browsing purely for premium prices and comparing them, is to also factor in elements such as:
- Co-payments for visiting offices, specialist care and emergency care
- Costs for prescription drugs and limitations
- Deductible amounts per family and per individual
- The provider network consisting of the participating hospitals and outpatient clinics
If you need some help comparing the above, then you can try using independent websites like iSelect.com.au or government websites such as Privatehealth.gov.au. The younger you are, the less important this decision might be for you, but as you get older, these are certainly points that should be considered to make life easier if and when you do need to claim. Or if you happen to have a chronic condition or believe that the little ones may find themselves in trouble (broken arms, wrists etc.) the cheapest plan may come across as penny-wise, but in the long run may reveal itself to be pound-foolish. You may just find that the little extra per month will save you in the long run.
Recently I posted an article on the price war currently happening on paint between Bunnings and Masters and how it’s a good time to purchase paint for the customer. Paint bought cheaply may seem like a quick and easy way to freshen up those tired looking walls, plus come across as a bargain home improvement means. But from my experience you only end up spending more money overall plus using up more of your time to get the coverage you need to do a good job. I have done plenty of DIY in my time and found that bargain brands didn’t only require me to cover the same area twice as many times to get the walls looking even and un-patchy, but the durability of the paint also meant that I needed to repaint more than once within that year to maintain the image of a quality paint.
Buying the most expensive paint is not the solution here either, because many mid-range paints will do just as good a job. Some of the paints that were covered in my article a few weeks ago looked at Pascol ‘Ready to Go’ paint from Masters that only cost $20 for four litres.
Finally certain consumer electronic products bring me to my final point today and we will be looking at TV’s and computers. The majority of people in today’s 1st world society generally use these two products very often on a daily basis. So when I see low prices, I usually think low quality, but for those of you who may not be as tech savvy as others, what I mean by low quality is the quality of the components that make up the complete device. Cheap computers may contain poorly built hard drives, low battery life, slow processors and more importantly limited warranties for example.
If you rarely use a laptop, you may get away with the cheap bargain laptop often seen on sale. However if you are like me and do the majority of your work on a computer and store valuable information, going cheap doesn’t really cut it. The risk of losing that data is unjustifiable for a few hundred extra dollars. This trend can also be used when looking at TV’s. No I’m not implying that you have to buy that $15,000 4K, curved TV, but you must be aware of those heavily discounted TV’s, because sometimes they are more hassle than they are worth. A good tactic could be to find a reputable brand in the sale such as a Samsung or LG product. Or you could check out our deals page to see what offers we currently have on technology products, to suit your pocket.
I hope this advice has been helpful in aiding your decision process if you are planning on purchasing any products that are mentioned above. Most people I hope will be able to decide how much they are willing to spend based on the their financial situation and use the information to make a wiser purchase. So I have refrained slightly within this post from referring to specific products on every subject matter, because I wanted to empower you with knowledge on these products, rather than specific money saving items. If you do have any questions or experiences you would like to share, please leave them in the section below.